51: A Recognition of Sin and Need for Cleansing
the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan
came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
Comments: The content of this psalm, according to the
heading, comes following the actions found in 2 Sam 12 as described
above. It is the heart cry of guilty David. Again and again he
appeals to the Lord for Him to deal with his sin [v.1,2,7,9,10,11,12,14].
In this man described as ‘a man after God's own heart', we see
an honesty in facing up to his sin [v.1-4,9,10,14]. He does not
try to make excuses, just accepting he needs God's help now.]
An appeal to the love and mercy of God
mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
An appeal for cleansing from sin
to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
Acceptance by David if his guilt, his earthly sin which is against
I know my transgres sions,
and my sin is always
you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.
Although, like all of us, he was ‘born in sin' nevertheless God
I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived
you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
He wanted God to cleanse him so he could be restored in relationship
me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
A Twofold request: ignore my sin and cleanse & recreate me
your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
A request not to be cast away but to be restored to Him
not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain
I will teach transgressors your ways,
so that sinners will turn back to you.
A Commitment that if God cleanses him, he will praise God
me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
you who are God my Savior,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
my lips, Lord,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
Although God doesn't want sacrifices he brings a broken spirit
as a sacrifice
do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise.
He asks that Jerusalem may know a right relationship with the
it please you to prosper Zion,
to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
in burnt offerings offered whole;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.
Thoughts: The psalm is unique in the openness and honesty
in facing up to his sin by David. It also reveals something of
the depth of his relationship with the Lord that he asks again
and again for the Lord for forgive him and cleanse him and change
him. He recognises that need and realises that there is no point
making excuses and only the Lord can cleanse him etc.]
to Psa 52